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Cullen Ready For IMF And World Bank Meeting


The Commonwealth Finance Ministers meeting has been an important preparation for the IMF and World Bank meetings in Prague next week, Finance Minister Dr Michael Cullen said today from Malta

“There is a very strong level of agreement amongst Commonwealth Finance Ministers about the need for changes in the operations of the IMF and World Bank to avoid as far as possible economic crisis and to resolve them when they occur.

“The position adopted by Commonwealth Finance Ministers in Malta is consistent with the voluntary action plan approach steered through the APEC Finance Ministers Meeting by New Zealand. Greater transparency and surveillance and effective standards to those ends need to be developed.

“At the same time, the Commonwealth Finance Ministers have taken a strong line on the need for the process of globalisation to work in the interests of developing countries as well as the developed and in the interests of the poor as well as the rich.

“It was particularly pleasing to see the unanimity on these matters between the developed countries in the Commonwealth, including New Zealand, and the developing countries who form the great majority of Commonwealth nations. What was equally clear was that the developing nations in no way wished to oppose globalisation itself.

“There were also clear calls, strongly backed by New Zealand, for moves towards increasing global free trade to work more effectively in the interests of primary producing countries. Here the interests of New Zealand and developing countries are identical and we will continue to work together in pursuing them.

“Finally, Commonwealth Finance Ministers have agreed to adopt collaborative and cooperative approach to addressing the questions of harmful tax competition and money-laundering. There was deep concern that recent OECD initiatives in these areas had been insufficiently consultative. New Zealand has offered to work with the small Commonwealth countries in the Asian-Pacific on these matters,” Dr Cullen said.

During the course of the Commonwealth Finance Ministers meeting, Dr Cullen also had bilateral discussions with Melanie Johnson, UK Economic Secretary and the Malaysian Deputy Minister of Finance, Datuk Dr Haji Shafie Mohd Salleh.

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